Week three, called ‘Know what He has given you’ (24.2.13), spoke volumes to me about fully understanding what God has provided for us as Christians, as well as wisdom to know how to effectively implement that in our daily lives. It impacted me so much that I wanted to share it with you so that you can have the opportunity to listen to it and learn from it in the same way I did. Below is a bit of background about the book of Ephesians and I’d encourage you to read it before listening to the message here: http://www.fulllifechurch.org.uk/pages/watch-listen/sermon-series/grace-at-work.php
The apostle Paul was nearing the end of his ministry. He had spent years travelling throughout the Roman Empire, sharing the gospel message and teaching new believers. God had done some amazing work through him, but his journey had been far from easy.
Some people had gladly accepted the message he was sharing, but others had fiercely opposed him. He had faced angry mobs, serious violence, backlash from the Jewish authorities, and had been arrested on false charges. He had then been tried, transferred, retried, retransferred, shipwrecked and was now imprisoned in Rome awaiting an audience with Cesar himself. A ministry like this would crush many people’s spirit and leave them drained and discouraged; but not Paul. It was in this situation, at this point in his life that he decided to write to some of the Christians he was no longer able to visit. He had no specific issues that he needed to address as he had in many of his other letters, he simply wanted to write to encourage them and give them some general teaching on Christian living.
After all that he had been through, Paul could have been jaded by his experiences, but instead he could not contain his enthusiasm. Paul had seen God’s hand at work in all situations and his experiences and God’s revelation in his life had shown him all the riches that God has made available to those who put their trust in him.
Throughout the letter which was written for the Ephesians, we encounter passages of soaring praise, heartfelt prayer, inspiring encouragement and incredible teaching. Paul shows us how God has revealed his eternal plan to us, has given us a rich inheritance in him, has brought us into unity with Christ and all other believers across the world and how we, as Christians, should live our lives as a result of all of this. But what we will see again and again is the evidence of God’s grace. In all aspects of his plan throughout history, in all that he has done in redeeming and forgiving us through the life, death and resurrection of Christ, in giving us the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of our future inheritance and within every situation of our lives day by day, God’s grace is, and has always been, at work.